Laminate flooring instantly brightens any living space and is a very well-favored choice among homeowners. It looks like a real wood floor but comes at a much lower price point. You can easily install it on your own, which will allow you to save on labor costs. Compared to hardwood, laminate is more resistant to scratches, less likely to absorb moisture, and more long-lasting. Its aesthetic value, affordability, and sturdiness make laminate flooring one of the most popular flooring types.
While laminate floors are typically low maintenance, and will barely require any refurbishment, some upkeep is still important. Adults, children, and pets alike bring in dirt to the house: this dirt settles into the grooves and textures of the laminate panels. As the dust and grit accumulate over time, the floor ends up looking dull and dingy. Not only that, but the rough particles can also scratch the top-most surface of the floor, making it lose its shine. Moreover, when the grooves have dirt trapped in them, it also causes the layout to loosen, lowering its service life. On top of that, bacteria multiply in that accumulated dirt and make your floor incredibly unhygienic to live on. This points to the importance of knowing the correct ways to clean textured laminate.
If you too are looking to install a laminate floor or are bothered by the lackluster look of the one you already own, read ahead.
Types of Laminate Flooring
There are different types of laminate flooring available in the market. In order to provide the best care for your floor, you need to correctly understand what type you have.
This feels smooth to touch and has no visible texture. Since there are no ridges or grooves on the surface where dirt can get trapped, smooth laminate is easier to clean.
This looks more like real, unprocessed, or semi-processed wood. The surface has ridges and grooves and feels textured to touch. When textured laminate is exposed to dust – and not swiftly cleaned – the dust tends to settle in between the ridges. Over time, dirt hardens and makes the floor looks dirty, old, and dull. Textured laminate floors are, therefore, slightly more challenging to clean.
|Textured Laminate||Smooth Laminate|
Use the Right Mop
The first step in your cleaning routine is mopping, dusting, or sweeping.
Start off by removing all rugs, furniture, and other objects from the floor. Be careful to lift the furniture, and not drag it across the floor, because the latter can leave scratches on the surface of the laminate. It also weakens the structure of the planks.
Then, you will move forward to removing dust. Note that no rough surfaces or objects, such as a brush with stiff bristles, or a metal scrunchie, should be used on laminate floors. These objects are abrasive and scratch off the top coat of the laminate. This creates a number of new ridges on the laminate, encouraging even more dust to settle on the floor. Over time, the floor then loses its sheen and wears out.
Take a damp microfiber mop or a broom with soft bristles. Then, observe the direction of the texture on the laminate. You need to sweep with the grain, so the dirt gets pulled out; moving against the grain will instead push the debris deeper into the ridges. Start at one end of the room, and sweep in swift motions while moving towards the exit. There is a wide variety of products available in the market, but we have found this one particular mop to be the best at its job. You can find yourself a great deal here:
Use the Right Cleaner
The sweeping or mopping process has dusted off most, if not all, of the debris, lint, hair, and dirt from the floor. The next step is now to remove any stains.
Just as mops, there are several detergents and cleaning agents marketed for cleaning laminate floors. However, as sturdy as laminate is, it does not take well to strong chemical cleaners. Make a note of ingredients never to use, and you will be good to go. Ammonia and bleach are corrosive and damage the laminate. They fade out the color and sometimes even permanently discolor areas of the planks. At times, it also leaves holes in the laminate, causing moisture to seep through the laminate all the way down to the bottom. Over time, this will weaken the layout of the floor and cause planks to bend, warp, and even come off. Be careful when buying detergents: some are labeled ‘Ammonia Free’ but still contain some bleaching agents which are just as damaging.
If you wish to play safe and don’t mind working in some extra minutes, we have a great DIY floor cleaner recipe for you. To make your homemade safe and effective laminate cleaner, you need one part of white vinegar and one part of hot water. Mix the two, and then add a few drops of any dishwashing liquid you use at home. Watch this easy YouTube tutorial showing you the method along with some variations to the recipe:
Your super easy, cost-effective, and completely safe cleaner is ready to give you perfect results each time!
Clean Out the Ridges on Textured Laminate Flooring
Once your cleaner is ready, it’s time to get to work. Spray the mixture on a mop or brush and push it into the grooves and ridges on your floor. Sweep or brush gently in circular motions while watching as the grime melts away and out of the grooves.
Linked ahead is a great YouTube tutorial – watch it for a thorough visual demonstration on cleaning the grooves of your textured laminate floor:
The rule of thumb for cleaning textured laminate flooring is simply to stay on top of it. Daily sweeping and mopping will keep the grooves free of dirt that comes in, while a doormat at the entrance will prevent excessive incoming dirt in the first place. If you have pets or allow shoes indoors, do a deep cleanse using vinegar and a microfiber mop at least every two weeks. Simply note: never be aggressive with your laminate.